Purpose – To apply a trailer’s brakes if it becomes separated
from its towing vehicle. Having done this, the cable assembly is designed to part, allowing the trailer to come to a halt away from the towing vehicle.
Construction – Usually a thin steel cable, possibly plastic coated, and fitted with a means of attachment for connection to the towing vehicle.
Operation – In the event of the main coupling of the trailer separating from the towing vehicle, the cables should be able to pull tight, without any hindrance, engaging the trailer’s brakes.
The breakaway cable should never become taut; it should be of sufficient length to reach and ensure it does not pull the handbrake on when turning a corner. It is advisable that the breakaway cable fitted should be approved by the manufacturer of the coupling. Even though rare, most incidents of the trailer or caravan becoming detached happen within a short time of setting off. It is usually because part of hitching up the vehicle has not been carried out correctly. Other instances have been noted when a caravan fitted with an Al-ko stabiliser head has been hitched up to a standard two bolt fixing flange towball. An extended neck towball is required for use with these stabiliser heads. Please always ensure you have all the correct equipment fitted prior to towing.